The Kresge Foundation, among the nation’s leading social services and philanthropic nonprofit organizations, has appointed investment banker Suzanne Shank to its Board of Trustees.
Shank, along with finance scholar Michael Barr, were just named trustees to serve on the governing body for the private, national foundation. Based in Troy, Michigan, the Kresge Foundation reports it invests over $160 million a year to foster economic and social change.
Shank is president/CEO and the largest shareholder of Siebert Williams Shank & Co.,L.L.C. (SWS), the nation’s biggest minority-and-women-owned financial firm. Before forming SWS via a merger in 2019, she was CEO of Siebert Cisneros Shank L.L.C. She co-founded that firm and helped it become the first MWBE firm to rank within the Top 10 among U.S. municipal debt underwriters and the first MWBE to lead a municipal underwriting exceeding $1 billion in principal amount.
Barr is the Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, the Frank Murphy Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, and the Roy and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law at University of Michigan Law School. He is the founder and faculty director of U-M’s Center on Finance, Law, and Policy, and co-founded the Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project.
“Suzanne and Michael are extraordinary additions to our Board of Trustees,” Kresge Board Chair Elaine D. Rosen stated in a news release. “Their individual expertise in finance and banking and combined community development leadership—specifically in low-income communities—will further bolster the foundation’s efforts to expand opportunity for people living in America’s cities.”
Among its actions, The Kresge Foundation has invested millions in programs specifically aimed at economic development in urban areas. This effort is precisely targeted at Black entrepreneurs.
After their initial 4-year terms, per the foundation’s governance rules, Shank and Barr’s trustee appointments may be extended to a maximum of 16 years.
Shank is the recipient of many accolades. For instance, she was honored by USA Today as one of its Women of the Century and by Ebony Magazine as one of its Power 100 of 2020. She is one of the most successful African American female entrepreneurs in the finance industry. Shank lives and works in Detroit, where the Kresge Foundation has a major impact on its commitments.